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The Book Club Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Books that mess with your head
Threnody
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Member # 1558
Default  Posted: 10:34 AM, September 7th (Tuesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm two books into a trilogy by Phillipa Gregory and I can feel it affecting my brain. The first book, Wideacre, was shocking with some of its depictions of depravity and pure evil. The second, The Favored Child, continued to mess with me in a different way. I'm going to the bookstore this evening to pick up the third and I expect it's also going to do a number on me.

This has me trying to recall the last time a book, or series of books, twisted my brain around.

With the exception of one book, all of K.J. Parker's books have done this. I'm reading The Folding Knife right now so the jury's still out on that, but Parker's Engineer's Trilogy had me tied in a mental knot for a week or more. Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory nearly put me into an asylum for a week. His Culture books are brain-bendy, but certainly not to that extent.

I don't read horror novels or thrillers. I stick with straight literature, sci-fi/fantasy or historical fiction, for the the most part. I find it amusing, in a way, that even these staid, pedestrian sorts of books can somehow twist around inside my head. I think it's because they all illuminate some facet of a personality that is so unlike mine, and when I start getting further into the book I can't fully detach myself from the character and find myself in a strange conflict.

Does this happen to anyone else? If so, what books caused it?

I can't tell if I should be concerned, or if I should seek out more books like this.


“If you don't like my opinion of you, you can always improve.” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant
"Great love requires determination." ~ tryingtwo
"Don't try to win over the haters, you're not the jackass whisperer." ~ Brene Brown

Posts: 14040 | Registered: Jun 2003 | From: Middle-of-Diddly, TX
wifehad5
♂ Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 1:51 PM, September 7th (Tuesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The book that messed with my head the most was called The Gold Coast by Nelson Demille. I've always loved his writing, and have read everything he wrote.

I re-read The Gold Coast about 4 years ago, and actually lost sleep for about a week after finishing it. There is a strong infidelity theme, and a lot of the book is from the viewpoint of the main character dealing with the fallout.

When I read it, I had no idea that I was also dealing with infidelity, but maybe at some level I did


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 37421 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
manAscending
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Member # 26919
Default  Posted: 12:35 AM, September 8th (Wednesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In my first year of uni, I read Atlas Shrugged. Little did I anticipate how much it would skew my thinking. It took about five years of the pendulum in my brain to swing from far-right, to far-left, and now settle somewhere more in the middle. Sorry, there's just no better way to describe it. I hear a lot of impressionable young minds are heavily influenced by this book.

Posts: 1648 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Ontario
brooke4
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Member # 13581
Default  Posted: 3:09 AM, September 8th (Wednesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Brat Farrar by Josephne Tey. Because even though the reader knows the answer to the mystery you start to doubt what you know.

Romeo and Juliet. Because I'm always convinced that this will be the time that their timing isn't off and it will end happily.


Me: BS, 40, Him: WS 41
Married: 15 years
3 children
D-Day: 10/2005

Posts: 1508 | Registered: Feb 2007
NewAttitude
Member
Member # 1030
Default  Posted: 7:46 AM, September 8th (Wednesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Both of which I would love to reread but am too afraid to.


Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.

Posts: 58732 | Registered: Jan 2003
Helen of Troy
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Member # 26419
Content  Posted: 7:49 AM, September 8th (Wednesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh I love heady books!
Have read Sophie's World.
I'm not into horror so might try the others mentioned here. Thanks.

Posts: 4715 | Registered: Dec 2009
WhiteWolfWinning
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Member # 12475
Default  Posted: 7:45 PM, September 22nd (Wednesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For reason's I cannot explain, Rose Madder by Stephen King burrowed into my brain. It is, by no means, is best known book ... it wasn't even really that good, but it just drove me insane! Maybe it was the time in my life... I'm not sure.

Also The Handmaide's Tale by Margarat Atwood. I could not stop thinking about it.

Usually, though, I get invovled in what I'm reading to the point of ... not obessison, but immersion? I dream about the characters , go back and re-read passages ....

In other words, most books mess with my head!

Wolf


Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God

Thank you, Lord, for the lightness of my burdens


Posts: 8233 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: midwest
Threnody
♀ Member
Member # 1558
Default  Posted: 8:12 PM, September 22nd (Wednesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh gosh, yes. Handmaid's Tale. I was in half a panic just talking to my fundamentalist step-father on the phone for a while after that, since nearly every conversation starts with him talking about the latest rally for this-and-that he went to. I read it when I was 23 or so, and it took a long, long time for me to snap out of a "zOMG it's happening NOW!" kind of fear.

Still not done with The Folding Knife. It's not messing with me so far, though. I'm really, really enjoying it.


“If you don't like my opinion of you, you can always improve.” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant
"Great love requires determination." ~ tryingtwo
"Don't try to win over the haters, you're not the jackass whisperer." ~ Brene Brown

Posts: 14040 | Registered: Jun 2003 | From: Middle-of-Diddly, TX
Very, very tired
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Member # 26244
Default  Posted: 9:18 PM, September 22nd (Wednesday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Stephen King's "The Stand."

I read it when I was about 18 or 19. It still messes with my head.


BW (in the 40 yr old range)
2 kids
Happily married 20 years--or so I thought.
Divorced and moving on



Posts: 1919 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: Right where I am supposed to be
sad12008
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Member # 18179
Default  Posted: 6:43 AM, September 23rd (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree about The Handmaid's Tale...disturbing, and scarily resonant where I currently reside (I get what you said, Thren!).

Back when the earth was still cooling, I read a short story -"The Lottery"- which still is with me to this day.


You can't fill a cup with no bottom.

Posts: 3893 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: a new start together
jjct
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Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 7:09 AM, September 23rd (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Though I have recently obtained a few "Get Out of Hell Free" cards. I don't think I'll be using them by reading these books.
Thanks for the heads-up!

Posts: 6653 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
punky
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Member # 12233
Default  Posted: 7:49 AM, September 23rd (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Definitely The Stand.

I guess I like my head being messed with because I've read it several times.

Probably need to again.


Be a lion, not a mowess...
The Cowardly Lion

Posts: 11295 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: A whole 'nother country
heart_in_a_blend
♀ Member
Member # 24191
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, September 23rd (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

This book messes with my head. I was wondering if anyone else has read this.


In life, much of what one grieves one never had.

Posts: 3036 | Registered: May 2009
veritas
♀ Member
Member # 3525
Default  Posted: 12:13 PM, September 23rd (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can't remember either the name of the author or the book, but it was a mystery novel about a black woman, some dead cats, and the narrator who follows the story (as a nosy neighbor) for a number of years and finally solves a murder mystery. It was so Rashomon and twisted.

I read Wideacre and couldn't bring myself to read the others.

Brain Fart Ended: The book is The Shape of Snakes and the author is Minette Walters.

[This message edited by veritas at 12:43 PM, September 23rd (Thursday)]


Actions unmask what words disguise.
Love many; trust few; and always paddle your own canoe.
When you win, you teach; when you lose, you learn.

Posts: 10168 | Registered: Feb 2004
yewtree
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Member # 16671
Default  Posted: 4:43 PM, September 23rd (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Right now I'm listening to a Wally Lamb book - "The Hour I First Believed" - the first 1/2 is about Columbine - pretty heavy. The 2nd half is supposed to take a turn into the past all the way back to the Civil War. So far I just want to keep driving around all day so I can keep listening! I'm hooked!


Me(BS)45(at the time of D-day)

Divorced 2009, Closing on house Nov 2011 -
No longer waiting for the other "she" to drop.


Posts: 4694 | Registered: Oct 2007
punky
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Member # 12233
Default  Posted: 8:09 PM, September 24th (Friday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The Hour I First Believed...oh yeah...it's a tough one.


Be a lion, not a mowess...
The Cowardly Lion

Posts: 11295 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: A whole 'nother country
Heartless Bytchh
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Member # 12347
What?  Posted: 5:41 AM, September 25th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There's been so many over the years I can't remember them all. I should've kept a list.

I think it's a good thing in a way to have a book get into your head and shake it up a little. It makes you look at something inside yourself you may have not known you had there.

I think the first story that got to me was Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell Tale Heart". I was like about 6 or so when I read it. Wow! Totally blew me away. Got me hooked big time on Horror.

I read "Sybil" when I was like eleven or twelve. My mother caught me reading it and took it away. I waited a week or two until she forgot about it and snuck it back. That one got in my head on many levels. I found out I wasn't the only person that had an abusive mother. And the possibility that she had some kind of mental illness was a new thought for me.

Recently I've discovered I like stories with a lot of angst. I think this is a new thing with me. I think the whole horror/angst thing I've got going is possibly a way to process some inner stuff I've got happening these days.
Maybe it's a way of helping to put my own personal monkeys/demons into perspective.

I do know that Robert Heinlein's work has greatly influenced me. His "Stranger In A Strange Land" for instance. TANSTAAFL

And his "Number Of The Beast" with the whole time travel thing was awesome. I reread that one several times.
And his "Lazarus" books. Oh wow, I need to go back and reread those again. It's been awhile.

So yeah, I think those books that get in there and bend our brain can be good for us for the most part.


Woodchipper pretty much trumps everything.-Rufus Turner
Sometimes I feel like SI is that person who says... "if you can't say anything nice... come sit by me!"-rumorhasit

Posts: 6063 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: Another day in Paradise
Cally60
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Member # 23437
Default  Posted: 10:02 PM, September 25th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Back when the earth was still cooling, I read a short story -"The Lottery"- which still is with me to this day.

I had exactly the same experience with a short story by John Wain. It was about a small child who had the mind of an adult man, and was unbelievably moving. I have never been able even to contemplate reading it a second time.

And the second is a novel by the Nobel prize winner Doris Lessing, entitled "the Fifth Child". It's about the upending of the idyllic life of an earth-mother type, whose fifth child has an autism-like disorder, However, it was first published over twenty years ago.

[This message edited by Cally60 at 10:03 PM, September 25th (Saturday)]


Posts: 2117 | Registered: Mar 2009
fairyfriend
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Member # 11208
Default  Posted: 10:24 PM, September 25th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman. Heavy.


DDay 1--Feb 99
Crappy IC, false R--spring 1999
A ended around April, 2003
DDay 2--September 26, 2004
DDay 3--September 26, 2005 when I found out the REST of the truth
8/8/09--Doing very well due to hard work on my and H's part

Posts: 1607 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: far north Chicago suburbs
caregiver9000
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Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 10:38 PM, September 25th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

The Green Mile by Stephen King

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5861 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
Topic Posts: 25
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